Buttonology

Darner hunting---it's that time of year. These large dragonflies can be found patrolling above trails and over open fields. Earlier in the year Common Green Darners and Blue-eyed Darners held these airspaces along with a few Saddlebags and Gliders. But now the mosaic darners, of the genus Aeshna, have arrived on the scene. Like all darners, because they seldom land, they pose a real problem to the collector of either specimen or image. It's chancy with net or camera. Today I was using the latter.

The most common mosaic darner most years, at least here in Northfield, is the Lance-tipped Darner. It's formidable name comes from the harmless appendages on the female. This somewhat misleading name must be preferred to a common name based upon the scientific name, Aeshna constricta, which would translate to something like "pinched" darner, the adjective referring to the notch in the front thoracic stripe. Along an open and sunlit stretch of trail, I found a darner patrolling back and forth, much of the time on a level about equal with my eyes but also making great loops up among the tree tops but then returning to its usual back-and-forth patrol along the trail. Each time it passed by me I could see green thoracic stripes and blue, patterned abdomen. And I assumed it was a Lance-tipped Darner.

With the camera, I focused at the ground about six feet away then tilted the camera up. When the dragonfly flew by at about that distance, I pointed the camera and held down the shutter button, taking rapid fire digital images, hoping one might be in focus. Later, I'd dig through the hundred or so images for a usable shot. There were no guarantees, but I'd had some luck using this technique. What I found, when I looked at the photos, was not a Lance-tipped Darner like I'd expected, but another Green-striped Darner (I'd seen one near here the previous week).


Earlier in the day, I'd read the chapter on "buttonology" in Fredrik Sjoberg's memoir, The Fly Trap. A deprecatory term invented by August Strindberg to make fun of human beings who collect things. Think beer cans, Hummel figurines, thimbles, shot glasses, editions of Moby Dick, square nails, and...yes...insects, whether pinned specimens or digital photographs. Logging into my online storage site, I noticed it now held 11,301 photos. Absurd. Well within the range of satire. One winces at just what level of mania is involved here.

I add a couple more photos of a drone fly in Sjoberg honor.

Publicado por scottking scottking, 30 de agosto de 2017, 03:14 AM

Observações

Fotos / Sons

Observador

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Data

Agosto 29, 2017 01:50 PM CDT

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